A New Dimension In The Theater

Israel deaf-blind troupe, which has its U.S. premiere here next week, tells touching (and tasty) stories.

Special To The Jewish Week

It’s like no bakery you’ve ever seen.

Nalag’at actors knead dough in “Not by Bread Alone.” Courtesy of Nagal’at Theater

Finally Ready To Tackle Bach

Israeli-born choreographer Emanuel Gat takes on ‘The Well-Tempered Clavier’ in a new, evening-length work.

Staff Writer

The Israeli choreographer Emanuel Gat has a theory about artistic creativity. Basically, there are two types of artists: one has a fairly clear vision of the work he wants to create before he begins, while the other has no idea at all. Instead, this latter type only uncovers something that already existed; he is merely a midwife, or as Gat puts it, a sort of scientist discovering hidden laws of nature that have existed all along.

Emanuel Gat, 42, below, said Bach’s music has been on his mind for two decades. Osnat Karsenanski

Building A Cultural Bridge In Washington Heights

Jewish and Dominican teens forming bonds over the Sosúa story.

Staff Writer

Four years ago, Victoria Neznansky was faced with a difficult task. She was the newly hired chief program officer at the YM & YWHA in Washington Heights, which serves a predominantly Dominican community. And it was her responsibility to find a way to attract families from the area’s Jewish population, which had been dwindling for decades — all without alienating the dominant population.

Teenagers perform “Sosúa: Dare to Dance Together,” created by the Tony Award-nominated composer and director Liz Swados.

The Choreography That Binds

Ohad Naharin’s relationship with the Alvin Ailey company goes back years. Now he’s helping the troupe’s new director ‘take the next step into the future.’

Staff Writer

In the 1970s, Ohad Naharin’s career as a dancer in Israel was just taking off when he left for America to be with his wife. Naharin was, at the time, one of Batsheva’s most promising dancers, doted on by Martha Graham, the iconic American choreographer who helped train many performers in the budding Israeli company. But then he met Mari Kajiwara, an American dancer with the Alvin Ailey company.

Naharin, now 59, is dedicating all the performances of “Minus 16” to his late wife and former Ailey dancer, Maji Kajiwara.

Two Jews Take On The Shakers

Playwright Alfred Uhry and choreographer Martha Clarke explore the devoutly Christian group in ‘Angel Reapers.’

Staff Writer

These days, a musical about a community where all members gather in the nude to sing and dance wouldn’t seem all that strange.  After all, “Hair” has been around for decades.

But if you heard that this community was devoutly Christian, took vows of celibacy, and actually flourished nearly 200 years ago, you might raise an eyebrow. Perhaps you’d raise the other one if you heard that both the creators of this show were Jews. 

Simple gifts: Clarke used elements of Shaker prayer in her choreography. Rob Strong

Dancing Between Worlds

Acclaimed young choreographer Avi Scher has had to balance the rigors of ballet and of Orthodox Judaism. It hasn’t been easy.

Staff Writer

When Avi Scher was accepted to the School of American Ballet almost two decades ago, when he was 10, he and his family faced a stark choice: they could stay in Israel with their tight-knit Orthodox community, where Scher was already training with one of the country’s prestigious ballet companies.

Nancy Richer and Kelsey Coventry in Scher’s “No Matter What.”

Mapping A Rich Heritage

Ex-Ailey dancer’s ‘HaMapah’ is ‘my own drash through dance.’

Special To The Jewish Week

Of all the arts, perhaps none surpasses dance at distilling the profound feeling of dislocation experienced by diasporic peoples.

McKinney “quilts” together the piece’s movement vocabulary from a rich array of sources.

The Waltz Of Germany

In ‘Tides,’ an avant-garde troupe fuses dance, theater and a country’s tragic history.

Special To The Jewish Week

It seems fitting that a German ensemble would stage a work keenly evoking terror, displacement and survival amid catastrophe. Next week the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival will host “Gezeiten” (the aptly titled “Tides” in German), a dance theater performance choreographed by the likewise appropriately named Sasha Waltz.

'Bridging cultures' with dance pieces.

A ‘Fool’ For Dance

Israeli ex-pat choreographer Hofesh Shechter’s new piece for the Cedar Lake ballet may or may not have anything to do with shtetl life.

Staff Writer

When the Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter moved to London in 2002, he thought he could leave his past behind. But no luck: “In the back of the mind of the audience, they know I’m Israeli,” Shechter said in a recent interview. “I feel that this is how people look at me.”

A scene from Hofesh Shechter’s “The Fools.” Julieta Cervantes

Art Spiegelman Draws A Dance

Collaboration with Pilobolus has famed illustrator working — in his own dimension — with live dancers.

Staff Writer

About a year ago, Pilobolus, the renowned dance troupe that arrives at New York’s Joyce Theater next week, contacted Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist of the Holocaust-themed book “Maus.”  The troupe’s members wanted Spiegelman to make a dance with them, and were even willing to give him creative carte-blanche.  No questions asked. 

Famed illustrator working with live dancers
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